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updated: 10/29/2013 11:52 AM

Espresso Black Bean Chili

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  • Espresso Black Bean Chili starts with dried beans (not canned) and M. Eileen Brown says you can taste the difference.

       Espresso Black Bean Chili starts with dried beans (not canned) and M. Eileen Brown says you can taste the difference.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer


3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

2 onions, chopped

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2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (about 1 pounds; canned is fine)

-1 cup freshly brewed espresso, 1-2 cups brewed coffee, or 2 tablespoons espresso powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

cup dark brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches

1 pound dried black beans, washed, picked over, and soaked if you like

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato, espresso, chili powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and beans and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid bubbles steadily but not violently. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are beginning to soften.

Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the beans are tender, anywhere from another 45 minutes to 1 hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more sugar, salt, or pepper.

Serves six to eight.

Mark Bittman,

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